By Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero & Jordie Bellaire
Hawkeye #9 continues Kate Bishop’s adventures. She’s found her dad, but he’s been using a LMD along with powers of suggestion while working alongside Madame Masque. It’s safe to say that things aren’t looking too good for Hawkeye at this point, as we’re introduced to her about to enter an underground fight club, where she’s referred to as Hawkeye: “The Girl One”, much to her disdain. Initially acting all cocky, wanting better odds because she’s Hawkeye, Kate soon finds herself pitted against a foe that she certainly didn’t expect to face, while her friends scramble to work out where she’s been.
As always, Kelly Thompson’s Hawkeye continues to be one of the most fun Marvel books on shelves right now, and it continues to deliver even if it resorts to the tried and true staple of an illegal fight club. There’s nothing new here, but it is fun watching Hawkeye duke it out against someone with superpowers in an issue that feels exciting. The emphasis that Thompson continues to place on Kate’s character as well means that this isn’t just a straightforward fight-heavy issue, as character development continues aplenty in this series that balances everything very well.
The artwork continues to be fantastic as Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire, on pencils and colours respectively, bring their best to the table in a stylish and incredibly colourful issue. It’s fantastic to see that Hawkeye, regardless of being Clint or Kate, always seems to get incredible artists and this series has been no exception with Romero’s pencils really helping bring depth to Kate’s character, which is fleshed out by Bellaire’s amazing colours. The supporting cast are as varied and well-detailed as ever, and you’ll never mistake one person for somebody else. Romero’s art is crisp and clean, and never feels cluttered. The attention to detail is spot on and it remains one of the joys of this series.
The dialogue once again continues the back and forth banter that Thompson has brought to Kate in the past, and she doesn’t let up here as it really helps serve to flesh out the character, making her all the more unique. It’s actually funny, authentic and doesn’t feel forced at all, with Thompson really getting what makes her character work, and each quip comes natural. Sometimes Marvel characters can feel like they’re being quippy for the sake of it and it feels completely out of place, but not so with Kate, as it’s an important part of who her character is. The fight club storyline does detract from the main storyline a bit, as it isn’t quite as impactful as it could have been, but it does serve as a fun distraction that is immensely enjoyable.
On the whole, Hawkeye #9 is a really enjoyable read. It’s fun and action heavy with some amazing artistic work, but doesn’t shy away from the hard-hitting character development when it matters. If you’re not already reading this series then you’re really missing out on something spectacular, as Kelly Thompson continues to deliver issue after issue, making it a truly must-read book.